More and more, I’m seeing people with whom I’ve broken bread graduating to the next realm of
life. I hope and believe I’ll be able to see and greet these friends again. Hope. Today’s society
seems to struggle with that concept. Causes and effects of this world’s challenges co-mingle
ever so subtly. It’s easy to become discouraged. How can we avoid such feelings? How do we
maintain optimism and hope? The Prince of Peace appropriately said, “Peace I give unto you:
not as the world giveth; give I unto you” (John 14:27).
Sometimes we think we can imagine the pain another person feels. As a boy I saw a friend miss
a nail and hit his thumb with a hammer. He cried, and I cried with him. It ended our building
project. I tried to imagine how he felt. It was not until years later that I repeated the same
mistake my friend had made. I understood much better how my friend felt, but even then, we
can’t duplicate the event perfectly. When I did it, I couldn’t cry in front of fellow workers.
Unfortunately, as we grow, we learn a cuss. It wasn’t the same type of accident. I had to keep
hammering and nobody cried for me. I thought of that day at play so many years earlier. It was
so much better. A mother’s hug and an ice wrap on the injured thumb was followed by popsicles
for him and for me. After all, my face was tear-stained and I needed comfort too.
C.S. Lewis wrote a book about the problem of pain. “Sometimes we can think that if God were
good, He would make his creatures perfectly happy.” I subscribe to the belief that having
choices and making mistakes is really part of a great plan of happiness. I’m not suggesting that
you hit your thumb to prove anything here, but we must experience some sorrow and regret. It
enables us to understand happiness. After the gift of life, the ability to choose our response to
difficulties (and to success) is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. Disasters and heartbreak test us.
That’s what they’re meant to do. They soften our hearts and make us more tender and charitable.
However, we still find ourselves asking why God allows pain, poverty, famine and all kinds of
injustice when he could do so much about it. He’d probably like to ask us the same question.
While pondering this serious topic, I made a stop at our Visitor Center to meet someone who was
delivering some maps for this summer. While there, I noticed some folks stretching their legs at
our Centennial Park. I stepped out and welcomed these visitors from New York City to
Richfield. They were staying here in our community for two nights and planning visits to
Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. Then it was on to Cedar City and Zions before driving home
next week. They were delightful people, and were already in love with Utah after visits to
Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. “What have you liked the best so far?” I asked. Their
reply was immediate: “Oh, the friendly people have made us feel so welcomed.” This is the kind
of fun, positive interaction we experience multiple times, every day each summer.
My enthusiasm is renewed for the coming year, and I want you to join the fun. We’re having a
Please Volunteer Day at the Visitor Center this Friday, March 26 th . We need your help, and we
promise not to monopolize too much of your time. A few hours a week is all we ask. Just stop
by on Friday between _ and _ to check it out, or just to say hello. Our goal is to be double-
staffed all summer, so round up a friend and bring ‘em along with you. Starting in the Spring,
we’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, with two volunteer shifts; 10 to 1 and 1 to 4. We’re closed
on Sundays. Later in Summer, hours will extend to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with volunteer shifts from 9
to 1 and 1 to 5.
Mayor David Ogden